Thursday, June 11, 2009

Anvil! The Story of Anvil

Had an unexpected foodventure last night. Well, we were expecting to try Umami Burger for the first time, but unexpectedly discovered that they served Cake Monkey desserts, and then unexpectly ended the night at the Kogi truck after unexpectedly enjoying the documentary about Anvil.

So, my friend and I both ordered the Umami Burger and shared an order of Malt Liquor Tempura onion rings. They were definitely the best onion rings I've ever had. They were perfectly cooked and surprisingly unoily.

The burger was unlike anything I've ever had before: fluffy bun, high quality meat that melted in my mouth, grilled mushrooms, and a parmesan wafer that perfectly complimented the burger. Then I got a Cake Monkey raspberry red velvet cake to go

(for eating dessert in the theater. :) So good. Excellent raspberry jam. My friend chose the PB & marshmallow cake, which she said was really good). They also serve ice cream sandwiches from Milk, which I've been meaning to try, but I couldn't resist trying a new Cake Monkey dessert since I am currently in love with them. The waiter was very friendly, but we would've enjoyed our meal a bit more if it weren't for the somewhat snarky manager (? I'm not sure who he was, but he was sitting in the backroom with us on his laptop) who kept interjecting into our conversation and making comments like "What? It's your first time here? You 2 must be the last people in LA to try our burgers," and later on bragging about the number of people who eat at his establishment. Sorry we're so late in the game and haven't had a chance to make it out there. No need to be rude and btw, your restaurant wasn't even completely full the night we were there. The back room was still empty when we left. And parking on La Brea kind of sucks before 7pm. I kept getting confused about what to do there because the restaurant was a mix of countertop burger place and fancy restaurant.

I know this entry was starting to sound like a food blog (I'm attempting to attack LA Magazine's list of 101 Cheap Eats in LA), but finally I'm getting to the meat (har har) of this post. The whole purpose of this night was to watch Anvil! The Story of Anvil at a fairly small theater, Regency Fairfax. We started out in the wrong theater. Not my fault, I thought my friend new where she was going! We thought it was really odd that there were so many old folks watching a documentary about a heavy metal band. We sat through all the previews and as soon as we realized they were actually there to watch a documentary based on 12 hours of footage about A Chorus Line (BORING!), we ran to the correct theater that actually had more people our age and apparently more previews geared towards Anvil's audience (a more racy trailer of Easy Virtue and commercial features such as the Transformers sequel and Pelham 123). Anvil was funny, endearing, and optimistic. Full synopsis here. The movie introduced the band by showing one of their wild performances during the 80s and continued with their 30 year struggle to try to make it. I was really impressed by Lips, the lead singer, and his unwavering optimism. He and Rob ( the 2 original members) were in their 50s and Lips still kept encouraging the band to go on tours, play shows, and make albums (at the time of the film, they made their 13th album). Lips was so quirky and such a fanboy when he ran into other metal bands and it was interesting to hear all these other big bands talk about how amazing and inspiring Anvil was. They also interviewed someone who used to manage Anvil and 2 other famous metal bands (Poison? White Snake?). I can't understand how that manager could make the 2 other bands famous and not Anvil. It just seemed so strange that they never made it big. I feel like they just needed to be managed in America. Once they succeeded here, they could succeed anywhere. That always seems to be the case with a lot of musicians. They always become infinitely more successful once they gain popularity in America. I feel like the world doesn't know who you are unless America knows who you are. It's not like other popular American metal bands didn't know who Anvil were. I feel like if they really admired and liked Anvil, they should have referred management to them. During Anvil's ineptly managed European tour, it was so heartbreaking to see them perform at venues where there would be less than 5 people. I almost cried when Lips' older sister gave him the over $10,000 he needed to go to England and have CT professionally produce their 13th album. It was so sweet that she just wanted to help her little brother pursue his lifelong dream. I loved the ending when they finally got to play in front of a huge stadium after worrying about whether anyone would even show up. That looked like the biggest crowd they had ever played in front of during the entire documentary. The movie made me really want to see Anvil succeed. I hope they get a portion of whatever the film and book earns. And if they ever play in LA I will definitely go see the them. Currently they're touring Europe. When they get to the US next month, they'll be playing at Rocklahoma and opening for AC/DC in Massachusetts.

I knew the Kogi truck was going to be on the way back home, so we drove by to see how many people were in line. Fortunately, it was 10 before 10pm, so they weren't open yet and the line was fairly short. I introduced my friend to Korean tacos and she loved them. I was looking forward to the pork belly special, but they ran out and replaced my disappointment with cinnamon cookies and Kogi sliders, which had the taco stuffings in between bread instead of in between a tortilla. I think the sliders would've been better had there been spam in between the buns. The short rib was still very tasty though.